If you are interested in fishing, then you might have already looked at some of the more high-end kayaks available in 2023. However, these hard-shelled devices are often very clumsy and difficult to transport because of their size.
If you suffer from mobility issues or are simply too small to carry your kayak around with you, then you might be disheartened from taking up kayak fishing entirely.
However, you don’t need to worry as there is a much better alternative to traditional kayak fishing, and that is inflatable kayak fishing. These boats are a good option because they are very storable, easy to carry and they are just as durable as the hard shell plastic, and wooden versions.
These top inflatable fishing kayaks come in one- and two-person seaters, which is great if you want to go out on the water with your family and friends. You can also take an inflatable kayak for solo fishing journeys.
These kayaks are also quite roomy, like inflatable boats, allowing you to store considerable amounts of gear, which will really help you upgrade your fishing game and enjoy your fishing trip so much more.
So where can you find these inflatable kayaks? What features do they have that will give you the best fishing experience? Do the best fishing kayaks hold up well in both deep and shallow waters?
What materials does a really good inflatable kayak need to be made from? How much should you have to pay for a decent inflatable kayak? How well does one of these kayaks fold up?
If you are wanting answers to some of these questions and a whole lot more, then we would suggest that you keep reading.
We have compiled a list of the 10 best inflatable kayaks currently on the market today, analyzing how durable they are as well as how well you can fold them up and how easy they are to inflate. Budget alternatives to inflatables include fishing kayaks under $500.
Our Top Inflatable Kayak Picks for 2023
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
The Intex Excursion Pro kayak is a two-seater that comes with an adjustable seat and a footrest that will offer you maximum comfort for long-haul fishing trips.
This also comes with fishing rod holders, making it a top-notch kayak for fishing. Once you have deflated it, this will very easily be stored in the body of your kayak – introducing the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak.
- This kayak is a great option and is inflated with handles on the front, which will help you carry it down to the water. You really won’t have to worry about it hurting your back, as it is extremely lightweight.
- This kayak comes with a set of aluminum oars, which will certainly help you to get your balance if you experience rough or shallow waters.
- With fishing rod holders on the sides, you can be sure that you’ll have everything that you need for a stable and secure fishing experience.
- This comes with a pump that will allow you to inflate your kayak within the space of half an hour. This will be very useful for newbie fishers.
- This might be slightly large for people who are taking to the water for the first time. Also, the two-person seats will not be of any use to anyone who is only planning on fishing alone.
Judging by the looks of this boat, this is fairly heavy-duty, coming in a camouflage design that will certainly help you to remain incognito from the fish lying below the surface.
This inflatable is an excellent choice and comes with multiple drinks holders and fishing rod brackets that give you a solid and stable fishing foundation – introducing the Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat.
- This inflatable boat is one of the best for still waters, allowing you to be able to coast through the water without capsizing or suffering from any major boating mishaps.
- This has plenty of drain plugs, which will allow you to siphon off the water if you have accidentally accumulated too much.
- This is constructed from very thick vinyl which will make the whole vessel completely impervious to any leakages. This is a boat that will really last you for years.
- This also has a moveable seat, which will be very useful to newbie fishers who want to have the utmost comfort when it comes to their first few fishing sessions.
- The paddle holders are especially nice and convenient in this particular model.
- This boat is very expensive, so if you are thinking about buying this sturdy vessel, then you might have to be prepared to shell out quite a bit of money.
This next fishing kayak is amazing for the amount of storage that it provides, giving you everything that you need for outdoor fishing.
This comes with attachment points that you can use for good tracking, with a hard plastic nose cone that will allow you to cut through the water at an accelerated rate – introducing the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak.
- This comes with reinforced PVC, giving you everything that you need for resistance against punctures and other stresses.
- You have front and rear tips with this boat, giving you everything that you need for a solid driving experience both forwards and backward.
- This comes with draining in the floor, which is great for getting rid of any excess water that can accumulate on the deck of your boat.
- This really requires very little to get blown up and ready to go out on the water. It also comes with a convenient carry bag and a handy air pump that you can use for easy inflation.
- This is another very expensive kayak, so if you are looking to save a little on the budget and only consider yourself a casual fisher, then we would recommend a different model.
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This next kayak will give you everything that you need to enjoy a day out on the lake with you and two of your fishing buddies, as it comes with 3 seats altogether.
This is a very reliable and buoyant kayak, you can take it out on the deep waters without having to worry about it toppling over – introducing the Sea Eagle 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak.
- This is made with a really durable polystyrene canvas material, which will definitely enable you to hold all your gear and passengers.
- This comes with switch mounts for you to hold your fishing gear, so if you just want to leave your rod while you kick back with your fishing gear (see the best salmon and steelhead fishing rods here), then we would recommend this boat.
- You have plenty of inflation points with this boat, so you can easily get it up and inflated with your pump in the space of a few hours.
- This boat tracks really well in the water, coming with a repair kit that will allow you to fix punctures with complete ease. This is great for beginners who have never hit the water before.
- A handy air pump and carry bag are included as well.
- This will not be suitable for single anglers, as this has a rather large deck that will make the overall body of the kayak much more difficult to pack.
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This next kayak is great for those who are on a tighter budget, with a solid construction that will keep watertight even when it is out on the most choppy of waters. This comes with a hand pump that will make setting it up very easy.
It has a capacious storage area, which will help you to keep your gear well protected – introducing the Intex Challenger Kayak.
- This is made from a vinyl hull, which is filled with two separate air chambers. You can have this one fully inflated within minutes of having it unfurled.
- This comes with adjustable seats, which is great for keeping your legs long and improving the circulation in these areas.
- This kayak comes with a built-in skeg on the bottom that will allow you to keep the kayak nice and straight, which is useful if you are tracking fish across great distances.
- This kayak comes with a large storage net that will not only keep your personal items very safe, but it will encourage quick drying.
Our next kayak comes with lots of room on the deck and comfortable seating, which will be very useful to anyone who experiences circulation issues in what is usually a very cramped space – introducing the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak.
- This comes with two aluminum paddles that you can use to steer yourself clearly through the water.
- This is made from very tough canvas material that will be highly resistant to punctures.
- This kayak is great for use on calm and slow-moving water, so you can sit back with a 6 pack of beers and enjoy the ride.
- This comes with a removable skeg on the bottom of the boat that you can use for navigation, allowing you to track nice and smoothly through the water.
- This is another 2-berther, which might be difficult to negotiate through the water if you are by yourself.
This next kayak is very lightweight, coming with the best single-person kayak design.
If you want to go out onto the water with this one, then you’ll have no trouble transporting or packing it – introducing the Sevylor Quikpak K5 1-Person Kayak.
- This has a great design, being essentially a backpack that transforms into a kayak within under half an hour.
- This comes as a 3-piece unit that you can unpack and inflate very quickly. You can be sure this one will give you an easy ride.
- This is very stable when you are on both calm waters and rough waters and it gives you everything that you need for very buoyant transportation.
- The backpack part of this kayak will also come with a spray guard that will both keep your legs dry, which will be an important part of making your journey more comfortable and therefore longer.
- This might not be sturdy enough for anyone who has a lot of fishing gear with them.
This kayak has plenty of built-in features such as mesh pockets that will allow you to perfectly store your bait and tackle – introducing the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak.
- This has a great construction of PVC, nylon and tarpaulin, all working together to give you a solid and waterproof fishing experience.
- This comes with two-rod holders that will allow you to rest your fishing rod while you sit back with a few cold beers.
- This has plenty of storage space on the deck, allowing you to spread your legs and increase the circulation in your body.
- This might be a little small for fishers who like to bring a lot of gear on their fishing trip.
This next kayak is perfect for a family, coming with 3 seats and plenty of space, this will give you everything that you need for smooth tracking and no tipping over – introducing the Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak.
- This kayak comes with a hand pump, although it is compatible with an electric pump.
- This is 12 feet long and comes with 3 seats, making it one of the most spacious decks that we have on this list. We would certainly recommend this if you want to take your kids out on the water.
- This might have too much space for a one-person casual fishing trip.
Our final kayak is one of the most durable that we have on our list, with a tough PVC construction that will make it almost impervious to sharp rocks and branches – introducing the Sevylor C001 Tahiti Hunt Fish 2 Person Kayak.
- This has a 12 piece construction that makes this whole thing very resistant to punctures.
- The spray covers on the side of this kayak will keep the inside of your decking very dry. This is great if you have electronic devices on board.
- This might be a little too heavy-duty for casual fishing enthusiasts.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Buying Guide and Top Considerations for 2023
When you are buying your first inflatable kayak, you’ll need to be aware of a few key features:
What is it made from?
An important thing to consider when purchasing an inflatable kayak is how well it’s constructed. If your boat is made from PVC or vinyl, it will stand a good chance of resisting any water pouring in. This will be very important for keeping your equipment, your personal belongings, and your feet dry. It will also stop the boat from taking on water and ultimately sinking. Keep in mind that inflatable kayaks certainly are not as tough at hardshell kayaks.
How can you inflate it?
Some of the kayaks that we’ve listed above come with hand pumps, although we would recommend that you find one with an electric pump as it will be much easier to inflate. Ideally, you’ll want one that can accommodate both manual and electric pumps.
How much space is on the deck?
This is very important if you are bringing a lot of tackle with you on your fishing trip. If you are swimming with your family, then you’ll also need to make sure that you have plenty of legs and wriggle room for your family.
How often will you go out kayaking?
Once you determine how often you will likely paddle, knowing how often you will go will help you to set your budget. If you just want to take it out once or twice during the summer then you probably don’t need to invest much money into your inflatable. However, if you plan on some regular use of your kayak on the open water then it would be wise to spend at least a little more to get a good quality kayak that will last you a long time.
Will you be kayaking mostly solo or tandem, or, perhaps, with your family?
If you want the option of bringing along a friend or family within your own inflatable kayak then you will need to look at a tandem kayak or convertible models (where there are two or more seats but the seats can be adjusted to be paddled solo or tandem).
How much weight can you carry?
Weight can vary greatly so if you will be paddling mostly solo then it is wise to make sure you get a model that is easily carried by you alone.
How much weight do you need the inflatable kayak to carry?
Load capacity can also vary greatly. Therefore take into consideration your own weight as well as the weight of any friends or family members that will be joining you. Also take into consideration how much gear you will need to bring along, especially if you plan to do multi-day trips.
Will you be fishing?
If so, be sure to check out the models above for all the models for kayak anglers.
Can you attach a trolling motor?
It is more difficult to attach a trolling motor to an inflatable kayak but not impossible. Keep in mind the extra weight you need to carry and make sure you’ve researched the appropriate bracket.
Best Inflatable Fishing Kayaks for 2023 – FAQ’s
Why are inflatable kayaks better?
These are better simply because they are much easier to store when they are not in use. We would recommend getting one as you can simply store it in the boot of your car when it is not in use.
These kayaks are also a lot cheaper than the regular models, so you’ll be saving yourself some precious dollars with an inflatable.
Why should you fish with an inflatable kayak?
One of the reasons that you should fish with one of these models is because they are very ergonomic and really offer you all the perks of a regular kayak.
Not only are they very tough, but they will probably sit better on the water than a plastic model. Achieving this stillness and decent tracking is very important for tracing fish through the water.
How easy are inflatable fishing kayaks to inflate?
You should be able to inflate most of the kayaks listed above in under 30 minutes. We would always recommend that you opt for an electric pump, as this will save you a lot of breath.
We would also recommend that you kayak with multiple inflation points so that if one of them malfunctions, you can always use another.
Can you mount fish finders to inflatable kayaks?
Yes, it’s easy to mount fish finders to the best inflatable kayaks with easy-to-mount brackets. Here’s a fish finder mount that works with Lowrance, Scotty, and Garmen fish finders.
Are inflatable kayaks any good?
The best inflatable kayaks for fishing are great options and they can last a long time. Most come with an air pump, carry bag, and are made with very strong construction perfect for long days on the water. The pure versatility of inflatable kayaks makes them excellent fishing platforms. They can be used on rivers, ponds, large lakes, and in intercoastal waters.
What is the most stable inflatable kayak for fishing?
The most stable inflatable kayak for fishing is the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak. In addition to great stability, it’s very well constructed and tracks very well.
Do inflatable fishing kayaks work well?
Yes, the bottom line is that inflatable fishing kayaks are indeed safe, durable, reliable, and just as good as many traditional kayaks, especially as inflatable technology continues to improve and innovate.